Oh my god this is the coolest thing I need to read this.
1066 Turned Upside Down by Joanna Courtney, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Richard Dee, G.K. Holloway, Carol McGrath, Alison Morton, Eliza Redgold, Annie Whitehead with a foreword by C.C. Humphreys released in September in the Alternative History genre.
Have you ever wondered what might have happened if William the Conqueror had been beaten at Hastings in 1066? Or if Harald Hardrada had won at Stamford Bridge? Or if Edward the Confessor had died with an heir ready to take his crown? If so – here is the perfect set of short stories for you.
1066 Turned Upside Down explores a variety of ways in which that momentous year could have played out very differently. Written by nine well-known authors the stories will take you on a journey through the speculative ‘what ifs?’ of England’s most famous year in history
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1066 Turned Upside Down is a collection of eleven alternative history short stories of a ‘what if’ nature imagined by nine well-known successful authors:
Today we feature 1066 Turned Upside Down author Anna Belfrage and an excerpt from her alternative story:
The Danish Crutch by Anna Belfrage
ANNA BELFRAGE Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy set in 14th century England. Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. His Castilian Hawk – returning to medieval times and her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands. Anna has won several awards including various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards. www.annabelfrage.com
For almost twenty-four years since Edward became King in the early 1040s, England had been at peace (discounting minor squabbles and the matter of Wales.) His reign was relatively prosperous because of it. The building of abbeys and churches took precedence over fortified defences – which is why there were no stone-built castles in England prior to 1066. The political upheaval caused by the death of Edward not having an heir, however, spread further than just Normandy. Whatever happened in England could affect trade for all the countries that bordered the North Sea – and beyond. Sven Estridsen, King of Denmark, would be one most affected, for he was related to Harold Godwinson, and relied on various trade agreements. If William of Normandy were to conquer England, all that could change – and not for the better…
‘What do you know of what is happening out in the world?’ Sven asked.
‘Not much. Well, I heard Edward of England died – not much of a loss, if you ask me – and that Gytha’s son has claimed the crown.’ Ingvar grinned at Sven. ‘Your baby cousin, king of England, and here you are, mouldering in Denmark.’
‘Let’s see how long he keeps it.’ Sven poured them all some ale.
‘Keep it?’ Ingvar asked.
‘Harold is a fine man,’ Knut said. ‘But the kingdom he rules is a quagmire of treachery and deceit – starting with that brother of his.’
‘Ah. Tostig.’ Ingvar sipped at his ale.
‘That one has the wits of a fly in a honeypot,’ Knut said, making Sven smile. Tostig was hungry for power, for glory, but he was no fool – or maybe he was, seeing as he’d run all the way to Harald Hardrada to demand help in ousting his brother from the English throne. Sven tightened his hold on his cup.
‘Tostig is in Norway,’ he said, ‘and Harald Hardrada is preparing to invade England and claim the throne for himself.’
‘No!’ Ingvar sat back. ‘Insatiable, isn’t he?’
Sven gave him a grim look. Harald had defeated Sven on a number of occasions, and where once Denmark and Norway had had one king, now they had two, Harald ruling Norway while Sven had to make do with Denmark. It rankled – God, how it rankled. He cleared his throat.
‘I’d hate it if that Norwegian idiot placed his hairy backside on the English throne!’
Knut grinned. ‘When did you see Harald’s backside?’
‘When he mooned me at the battle of Nissan,’ Sven retorted. ‘Anyway, whatever Harald is planning to do, he’ll do. Stopping him is like dragging the sun out of the sky – impossible. Besides, it’s not Harald that worries me the most. Should he win – and God spare us that, he’d never let us hear the end of it – England would still have a king of Viking blood. It is William of Normandy who is the real threat. For months, he’s been howling to anyone who cares to listen that he’s the rightful English king, no matter that the Witan has acclaimed Harold. I’ll bet my luck William has every intention of grabbing by force what he considers to be his.’
‘And can he?’ Ingvar asked.
‘Don’t underestimate the man. And if William wins, woe betide our brothers in England. He’ll bring his own men across, and the lands of the ancient Danelaw will be soaked in blood. And as to Harold…’ Sven slid a finger across his throat.
‘So what will you do?’ Ingvar asked. ‘And how would my Gunhild be involved?’
Sven sat back. ‘I want to send her to Normandy – with Rolf here.’
‘As whatever is needed to stop William’s invasion from happening.’
What happens next? Read 1066 Turned Upside Down and find out!
JOANNA COURTNEY Ever since Joanna sat up in her cot with a book, she’d wanted to be a writer and cut her publication teeth on short stories and serials for the women’s magazines before signing to PanMacmillan in 2014 for her three-book series The Queens of the Conquest about the wives of the men fighting to be King of England in 1066. Her second series, written for Piatkus is Shakespeare’s Queens exploring the real history of three of the bard’s greatest female characters – Lady Macbeth, Ophelia and Cordelia.
Joanna’s fascination with historical writing is in finding the similarities between us and them –with an especial goal to provide a female take on some of the greatest stories we think we know. www.joannacourtney.com
ALISON MORTON writes the award-winning alternative fiction Roma Nova thriller series featuring tough, but compassionate heroines. She blends her deep love of Roman history with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical, adventure and thriller fiction. A ‘Roman nut’ since age 11, she started wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women. She has recently branched out into a contemporary crime setting with Double Identity, the first of a planned series.
ANNIE WHITEHEAD is an historian and prize-winning author. Her main interest in history is the period formerly known as the ‘Dark Ages’. Her first novel, To Be A Queen, is the story of Aethelflaed (daughter of Alfred the Great), who came to be known as the Lady of the Mercians. Alvar the Kingmaker, tells the story of Aelfhere of Mercia, a nobleman in the time of King Edgar. Cometh the Hour goes further back in time to the seventh century, to tell the story of Penda, the last pagan king of Mercia. Annie has twice been a prizewinner in the Mail on Sunday Novel Writing competition, she won first prize for nonfiction in the new Writing Magazine Poetry and Prose competition, and was the inaugural winner of the HWA (Historical Writers’ Association)/Dorothy Dunnett Society Short Story Competition and is now a judge for that same competition.
Annie has had two nonfiction books published. Mercia: The Rise and Fall of a Kingdom (Amberley Books) has been an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England was published by Pen & Sword Books in 2020.
CAROL McGRATH is the author of The Daughters of Hastings Trilogy. Her fifth historical novel, The Silken Rose, first in The Rose Trilogy, published by the Headline Group, is set during the High Middle Ages. It features Ailenor of Provence and was published in 2020. The Damask Rose about Eleanor of Castile was published in 2021. The Stone Rose, Isabella of France, follows in 2022. Carol has also written Historical Non-Fiction for Pen & Sword.
ELIZA REDGOLD is an author and ‘romantic academic’. Her bestselling historical fiction includes her Ladies of Legend trilogy, starting with Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva released internationally by St Martin’s Press, New York. Her historical romances are published by Harlequin Historical, London (Harper Collins). They include Playing the Duke’s Mistress, Enticing Benedict Cole, The Scandalous Suffragette and The Master’s New Governess. They have been translated into multiple languages including Italian, Polish, Czech, Danish and Swedish, and are available internationally.
G.K. HOLLOWAY After graduating from Coventry University with an honours degree in history and politics, he worked in education in and around Bristol, England, where he now lives. After reading a biography about Harold Godwinson, he studied the late Anglo-Saxon era in detail. When he had enough material to weave together facts and fiction he produced his novel. 1066 What Fates Impose, a story of family feuds, court intrigues, assassinations, plotting and scheming, loyalty and love, all ingredients in an epic struggle for the English crown. www.gkholloway.co.uk
HELEN HOLLICK moved from London in 2013 and now lives on a thirteen-acre farm in North Devon, England. Born in London, Helen wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science fiction and fantasy, and then discovered the wonder of historical fiction. Published since 1994 with her Arthurian Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, followed by her 1066 era duo. She became a USA Today bestseller with her story of Queen Emma: The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK), and its companion novel, Harold the King (titled I Am the Chosen King in the U.S.A). She also writes the Sea Witch Voyages, a series of pirate-based nautical adventures with a touch of fantasy. Commissioned by Amberley Press she wrote a non-fiction book about pirates in fact, fantasy and fiction and a non-fiction book about smugglers, published by Pen and Sword.
Recently she has ventured into the ‘Cosy Mystery’ genre with her Jan Christopher Mysteries, the first of which is A Mirror Murder. She runs Discovering Diamonds, an independent online review site for Historical Fiction, primarily aimed at showcasing Indie writers.
She occasionally gets time to write. www.helenhollick.net
RICHARD DEE was a Master Mariner and ship’s pilot, now living in Brixham, South Devon. His novels include Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective. www.richarddeescifi.co.uk
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Amazon Author Page: https://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick